Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Murphy needs a backpack!

I got a chuckle from the comment on yesterday's blog. The minute something is in your hand, deal with it—toss, keep, and put it immediately where it should go. I'm trying very hard to do that. I'm still dealing with quantity at times, and it's overwhelming. I'm also still at the sorting stage, where I don't want to make decisions until I see the entire picture of that group of items. 

But I'm making progress, and YES -- when I have something in my hand, I try very hard to make that toss/keep decision and put it immediately in the appropriate spot. I'm getting there and am so far ahead of where I was. 

However, I also get a chuckle when I read through my Happiness Journal, which I started writing in 2012. I was cleaning and tidying way back then. Then, I wrote some entries in 2013 and said, "I'm still tidying." Now, it's a huge laugh when I write in 2024—still tidying! 

I swear when M was born, my brain went to mush, and I had no concept of tidying or decluttering. And with a young child, things amassed very quickly—both hers and mine. I don't know why that happened. But I'm OK because I've made the decision to get things under control, and I'll make it happen—one piece of paper at a time!

Here's what happened yesterday in the decluttering effort. I found a home for those two backpacks, which will be picked up tomorrow. I went through them to see if I left any goodies. I found a newspaper from 2012. Yikes! That's how long they have been in the closet. By the way, I had already been through the closet where the luggage is stored and got rid of many bags, but I kept these two. No idea why since we'll never use them. Anyway -- they have found a home. 

Newspaper from 2012

Why was that newspaper in there? I used this bag when I did one of the Ride to Conquer Cancers, and the paper was used to dry my shoes in the event of rain. The paper is now in the recycling. See -- I can do this!!!

Then, during Monday sewing, I ripped apart this thing I picked up at the thrift store out west. It was three nice placemats (probably bought at the dollar store). They were sewn together to make a pocket-type thing you'd put over the arm of a sofa. I wanted the three placemats—the colors speak to me—and now I have to figure out what to do with them. I know -- I didn't need them, but I liked them. They are on the rolling cart for the moment. 

Three green placemats sewn together

Then I had a small pouch that I didn't like the way I sewed in the zipper. When I took it apart, I thought, "Good grief - what a shoddy job on the zipper!" 

Ripping apart a zippered pouch

So, I shortened the zipper and used part of the strap to make a tab at both ends. 

Adding a tab to the ends of the zipper

The shortened zipper means it won't get caught in the side seams. 

This is much better! 

I could then resew it back together. If I do everything this slowly, I'm in big trouble! 

The pouch is ready to resew together

Anyway, here's the pouch back together. See how square that one end is? That's what both ends should look like. 

The finished pouch

This end looks squishy, but it's way better than it was. Maybe I just need to poke it out more. 

A bit squishy on the end

The big question now is what to do with it. It was slated to go upstairs with the other finished items, but then I spotted the perfect thing to put in it. My THREE small external hard drives and the cables fit perfectly in there. How exciting is that? The key now is NOT to lose that little pouch because there is a lot of precious stuff in there, which I need to keep cleaning up!

Perfect for three external hard drives

Speaking of those external hard drives, remember that I could NOT recover the data from the one that had been around for a long time? So, I paid GOBS to have the files recovered. I was a bit taken aback at the process, but once I started down the path, well, I didn't want to stop. I'm over it now, but let that be a lesson. Those hard disks will have "best before dates" labeled on them and be replaced before they go dead again. I hope to have everything on ONE hard disk; the other two will be backups if needed. 

My new hard disk with the recovered files

And now I have one pouch for external hard drives and one for USBs. Yep—there's a ton of data stored on there. If all the data were printed out, it would probably fill the office! So, two little pouches are good, except they are poorly organized! 

Two pouches filled with data!

Let's pop back to Studio B. It got a bit of a makeover yesterday. Some things were not conveniently located, and I was tired of working around them. So, one thing got moved, which allowed me to clean up more stuff. 

This is what the corner looked like before I started. 

The before 

And this is what it looks like now. In an ideal world, I'd have covers for all the machines to keep the dust off them. The bigger machine accessories are on that new wire shelving unit tucked out of sight. 

The after

It's easy to see which one is more inviting! The machine on the right is there temporarily—I have a Facebook live on June 6th. I'll sew on the machine for a couple of weeks, and then it goes back. So then I'll have an entire table free! The serger is set up and ready to serge something. Notice the basket beside each machine to hold the accessories; it looks neater, and nothing accidentally falls off the table. 

Then, I moved to the other group of tables where the current projects used to reside. This is what it looked like this morning. The two heat presses are on one table, and the two small digital cutters are on another. The table with the mess of stuff is where the large digital cutter is going to go. Again, there is a basket for each machine for power cords. 

The digital cutter area

There is still one problem area in that space, and it's under the table where the heat presses are. These are projects from my ongoing classes that are not quite finished. Most of them need a border! ACK!! But there was never time, but I'm going to try to squeeze time to make that happen. 

UFOs hiding under a table

The cutting table became a dumping ground as I put all the extra stuff from elsewhere on it or the floor in front of it. 

Stuff still to be addressed

Let's just say that the table where the large cutter is going and this area look pretty different this morning, and you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see it. I aim to have only the machines in the open and one or two projects I'm currently sewing. I want the rest of the stuff concealed. That has NEVER happened, but it's my goal. 

I have another table that I'm using as a work table - somehow, when you get the crap off the tables, all of a sudden, there are loads of tables available. 

This just goes to show that the MORE crap you have, the more time you spend managing it. I hate taking the time, but let me tell you that when I went downstairs this morning and saw how clear the worktables were, I jumped for joy! I wanted to turn on the sewing machines and start sewing, but I knew I had to finish dealing with this mess. Once and for all!!!

So I'll continue until the carp has a home, and it will happen gradually. Once everything has a home, I hope it will be easier to work on things. I cannot believe I'm going to say this, but I want to get to the point where I work on ONE PROJECT at a time. Now, I won't necessarily be able to finish a project at one time, but I don't want to leave half-finished projects—perhaps that's a better way of saying it. 

It wouldn't be a good day without a story about the girls. We had a lot of rain in the morning, so the girls didn't get out for a walk. But that didn't stop them from being outside. WAIT—I mean, that didn't stop Murphy! 

MOM -- it's rain - no big deal!

How sad is that face? Yes, Murphy, we love you!! 

MOM -- I didn't know it was raining! 

However, Murphy needs a backpack or saddlebags! Since she didn't get a walk in the morning, I decided to take her to the grocery store. While I was in the store, I tied her to a tree. 

MOM -- I'm a good girl!

And she was quiet. But as soon as I got close, she started to bark. I turned my back and walked away until she stopped barking. Then I walked back, and she barked again. I turned my back, and I didn't walk far before she stopped. The third time, she was quiet! She learns quickly but just can't curb that enthusiasm. 

So I carried the groceries and her leash. And I told her the entire way home that she needed a backpack to help carry stuff. She wasn't impressed. Look at that tongue! Could it hang any further out of her mouth? What a girl!!! 

MOM -- I'm helping! 

I didn't get out with Lexi as it was getting late by then and she was NOT impressed. But later when I was reading, she was fluffing her dog bed. 

Fluffing the dog bed

And then once it was arranged the way she wanted, she lay down. Do you see Murphy sleeping in her window seat bed? 

MOM -- it's now comfy

Ok -- here's a question for the banana eaters amongst us. When people shop for bananas, why do they break one or two off and leave them? The bunches usually have a wide variety of numbers - some with only 4, 5, or 6- so grabbing a bunch with the quantity you want is easy. I don't get it. So I've started buying the singles. Yes, I have six bananas to handle instead of a bunch, but seriously -- it's no big deal. I should get a discount on those single bananas! 

The pile of single bananas

But I want to know why people do that! 

The calendar is wide open today, although I have someone coming to the house to discuss an urgent repair, and I'm off to visit the new library. There is much to organize, and I ordered some stuff to help, so I'll be getting deliveries this week. No -- it's not more crap - it's stuff I need to continue organizing. And something happened this morning, or should I say I found it this morning, that you'll see tomorrow. 

WAIT—don't forget that this is my week to write for QUILTsocial, and you MUST check out what I made. I'm thrilled beyond words with the project. 

I'll post the other links as they get posted. 

One last word about the decluttering. If you think you're going to save it for your children to take care of, that is a very mean thing to do. Think of it this way. Pretend your house is your mother's; you walk in the door after she is gone, and you have two weeks to clean it out. Do you even know where to start? Do you know what is valuable and what is not? You have an advantage because you are familiar with the stuff, but your children have NO CLUE about your stuff. 

If I am overwhelmed by MY mess, imagine if someone else looks at it? Their first thought would be to bring on the dumpsters, and most will go to the landfill. But, even that is challenging. Do you know how many TONS of crap you have that has to be moved into the dumpster? That is a very physical job, and who wants to do it? 

So think long and hard about what you leave to your children because you don't or can't deal with it. I'm trying very hard to make sense of all this. Yes - I'm slow. I get it. I bet some of you say just take two days and clean up the office, and I could do it. But I would hate every minute of it. I can do that when I'm in the mood, but I can't just make myself do it. I'm the turtle - slow and steady!

On that note, I have loads to do, and I'd better get started. 

Have a super day!!!



  1. When I buy bananas i will split the bunch in half. I want the small ones, only 2 or 3 and yellow with a hint of green. I am usually the only one eating them and I eat only 1 a day. I also look through the singles and select the ones I want. However there must be more than you and I Elaine that buy singles because there not always available. Have a terrific day. Jackie

  2. Like Jackie, I'm buying for 1 person. I have a narrow range of ripeness that I will eat. I l I ok for a bunch that isn't going to get overripe before I can eat them. I break off 2 or 3 which may leave 1.